* A story about forbidden (homosexual) love laced with verities of youth,everyday struggles, war and subversion, poverty, distorted ideals and innocense lost in the accelerating deterioration of generations. I hope its artsy and thought provoking enough for a Palanca award. (Author is NOT gay.)
The scarlet field lit in radiance beneath a sunny August afternoon. From a lonely dirt road, the myriad of roses seem like a bed of molten ember, ready to burst with every passing of the wind. Lorenzo Romano fell to his knees. It was here high up in the mountain province of the cordilleras that the first Romano was overcome by abjection once more. Weakness and defeat that he had only known in his young years back in Zapanta, in the island of Mindanao. The blurred images of his unhappy past, that for so long he had repressed, is torentially leaking into candid recollection.
” Speak clearly!” he shouted. ” Stop eating your words you sonofabitch!”
Smelling of whiskey and red all over, the bear of a man rose from his chair with the same snap of a general and towered over the timid boy. A young Lorenzo froze where he stood, shaken and too afraid to conjure a syllable with his mouth. He was breathing too fast and started to worry that if he did not recover his voice in time, his father would completely loose his temper and hit him.
“Speak up boy, stop acting like a fairy” this time he spoke with a graver tone. Lorenzo could only keep his head down fearful of meeting his fathers glaring eyes.
In a quick motion, he grabbed Lorenzo by the collar and let out a roar that curled the blood in the boys veins.
“What do you want! That is a very simple question. Are you stupid?”
Tears began to roll from Lorenzo’s eyes, the strength on his knees were lost to the shiver of fear. As he tried hopelessly to open his mouth and speak, his fathers heavy hand struck him on the left side of his face. A sharp ring reverberated in his ear, at the same time half of his head started to feel numb.
Kristina, Lorenzo’s aunt who had been standing behind him, stepped in between and bound her brother with her arms.
“Thats enough Antonio, please”
She turned to lorenzo and almost pleaded
“Go to your room, I’ll handle this.”
“Don’t you dare walk away you little faggot!” his father commanded.
Lorenzo did not know what to do as he sobbed uncontrollably, planted on his feet.
“Go up to your room Lorenzo Go now!”
The tug of wills lasted a few more repetitions until Antonio Almost broke loose and tried to lunge at his son. Stimulated by the instinct of self preservation, Lorenzo ran up to his room, as fast as he could and locked himself inside. An indignant march followed him and kicked and pounded at the door. “Open up!” his father demanded and spilled a string of wild obscenities.
After awhile Kristina was able to placate her brother.
But even before peaceful silence came, young Lorenzo Escandor had already wept himself to sleep. That was how his eleventh birthday had passed, receiving a slap across the face, instead of a Mountain Bike he had dreamt of having since he was eight.
To be continued…